Teen girls seek advice from all sorts of places. They ask friends “what do you think about this outfit?” in a group text, send Snapchat videos of themselves and look for inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest. Without realizing it, they can share their personal story and unintentionally it will get picked up and be seen not by a few friends but by millions of people.
Looking for advice, Ashley VanPevenage told BuzzFeed News how she was having an allergic reaction to benzoyl and turned to a friend on Instagram who runs the page @MakeupByDreigh. A before and after photo was posted and turned into a meme that went viral.
At first there were several hundred comments and suddenly the photos were not only on Instagram, but on Twitter and Facebook posted by people with over a million followers. Comments like this one “women you need to take swimming on the first date” are just an example of the thousands of hurtful words posted about her photo.
Sadly the impact caused huge anxiety as this 20 year old college student’s photos were posted, shared, re-shared by parody accounts all over social media. Ashley didn’t want to leave the house for fear of being recognized and while before she never thought about needing to wear makeup when running errands the cruel comments made her feel very self-conscious.
Finally after months of cyber bullying, Ashley decided to make a video that tells her side of the story.
Hearing how the comments impacted her life is a story worth sharing with your daughter. The comments that were made about Ashley could easily be said about any young woman innocently looking for advice. When teens are looking for advice they open the door to a panacea of potentially harmful attacks that can last not days but months.
You may be thinking this wouldn’t happen to your daughter. The reality is that in a small way it probably already has. Every time she texts a friend for their opinion it can be shared in an instant not just with kids at your daughter’s school but others outside their social circle.
Meme Prevention Is The Best Offense
Helping your daughter know the risks of social advice sharing is the best way to prevent a meme from starting. Once the image or question is out in social media there is virtually no way to stop it. Girls and young women will always want to seek advice. The best way to do it is privately without posting it in a way that can be shared.
Have you or your daughter experienced unwanted social sharing of a post or photo? We would love to contact us and we will feature you in our Inspiration section. Send us a note and please stay connected with us Facebook and Instagram!